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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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Soviet puppet, which Stalin had been willing to disband altogether had
the Polish Prime Minister surrendered to the Soviet plans, was able to
gain a certain amount of standing in the international arena.
The Polish Government's surrender seemed perhaps even more
necessary to the British Government at the time than to Stalin. For the
Russian dictator, such consent represented merely a question of propa-
ganda value to the world, while, as far as Poland was concerned,, unques-
tionably that consent, once given, would have automatically deprived the
Polish Government in London of the support of the country. As regards
Britain, it would follow that such a step would release that country from
any formal obligations under the existing Treaty. Since the Polish
Premier had no power to agree to the demands handed him by Moscow,
he returned to London in search of further concessions from his Cabinet.
His appraisal of the situation was not optimistic and he concluded his
statement with the words : " They are waiting for the Polish Government
to voluatarily commit suicide. The existing Polish Government and its
Premier will take no such step, they have no intention of being the grave
diggers for the sovereignty and independence of the Polish State."
Presenting himself as " the wandering minstrel travelling from court to
court," the British Prime Minister gave a wordy version of his parleys in
Moscow to the Commons on October 27. He was able to inform the
House that never had relations between the two countries been more
cordial and intimate. He explained that he hadc sung * so well In Moscow
he could now report that the tangled problems of the Balkans had been
brought to an harmonious solution although, for the time being, this
solution was both e temporary' and l limited.' The general tone of the
speech was one of intense satisfaction—except for the last subject touched
on—Poland—which sounded like a warning of things to come :—
" The most urgent and burning question was, of course, that of Poland,
and here again I speak words of hope, reinforced by confidence. To
abandon hope in this matter would, indeed, be to surrender to despair. In
this sphere there are two crucial issues. The first is the question of the
eastern frontier of Poland with Russia, and the c Curzon Line,' as it is
called, and the new territories to be added to Poland in the North and in the
West. That is the first issue.
" The second is the relation of the Polish Government with the Lublin
National Liberation Committee. On these two points, apart from many
subsidiary and ancillary points, we held a series of conferences with both
parties. We saw them together and we saw them separately, and of course
we were in constant discussion with the heads of the Soviet Government.
I had several very long talks with Marshal Stalin, and the Foreign Secretary
was every day working on these and cognate matters with M. Molotov.
Two or three times we all four met together without anyone but the inter-
preters being present.
" I wish I could tell the House that we had reached a solution of this
problem. It is certainly not for want of trying. I arn quite sure, however,
that we have got a great deal nearer to the solution of both. I hope that M.
Mikolajczyk will soon return to Moscow, and it will be a great disappoint-